The campaign trail vs. a nationally televised debate
Chuck Todd’s questions for these candidates all seem like they are coming from the perspective of a Republican or swing voter – not the Democrats who will decide the primary.
The barrier to real change after beating Trump
Soo…no one has a plan for how to deal with Mitch McConnell.
Warren’s “I have a plan” thing works best when she actually has a plan. In the case of Mitch McConnell, she does not seem to have a plan. (The only real plan is to elect more Democratic senators.)
There’s no good way to answer, “What makes you believe that Senate Republicans will respect democratic norms?” The candidates are right to dodge it.
The Democrats have more confidence in their plans to deal with the climate crisis than their plans to deal with Mitch McConnell.
No Democrat has a good plan for what to do if Mitch McConnell is Senate majority leader in 2021 because there is no good plan for it. If Democrats don’t win Congress, there’s no progressive agenda that can pass. It’s that simple.
“How will you handle Mitch McConnell?” was a great missed opportunity for someone to endorse DC and Puerto Rico statehood.
Honestly, the only correct answer for beating Mitch McConnell is “eliminate the filibuster,” and even that’s incorrect because good chance Republicans will control the chamber next session anyway.
Fact check: True.
It’s happened before
A CNN executive trolls NBC
He would know — no one in the country watches more cable news while they’re supposed to be working
Welcome to national television
The following-the-rules gender gap
Gabbard’s Twitter account, being run by her sister, thinks the fix is in…
Castro is one long shot who is apparently doing well in the Google pageant
Driven to distraction
A quick primer on border-crossing as a crime
If you’re an unauthorized immigrant in the US, you’re committing a civil violation: being present in the US without a valid immigration status. That’s breaking a law, but it’s not a crime, in the same way that violating the speed limit isn’t a crime. If you’re arrested, you can be deported — a huge change to an immigrant’s life, but not technically a criminal punishment.
But if you cross the US/Mexico border between ports of entry without papers, you are committing a federal misdemeanor: illegal entry. And you can be jailed and fined in addition to getting deported.
In one respect, this system has been on the books since 1929, when illegal entry was first made a misdemeanor. But for most of the 20th century, it was kind of irrelevant. Most people who came into the US without papers weren’t tracked down and deported. Presidents generally decided that it wasn’t worth it to spend US attorneys’ time prosecuting endless misdemeanor illegal-entry cases. Those who were caught crossing the border were generally informally returned.
Under the Bush administration, however, as an independent immigration-enforcement system began to develop and mature, both civil immigration cases (in separate immigration courts) and widespread criminal illegal entry prosecutions became common. The result swamped federal criminal courts along the border. For the past several years, immigration offenses — illegal entry and reentry — have been the most common crimes for which people are convicted in US federal criminal courts. (In fiscal year 2016, immigration offenses made up a majority of all federal criminal prosecutions.) And the courts along the border where entrants are prosecuted are routinely the busiest in the country.
Key point on reversing it:
Proposing that illegal entry no longer be a federal crime is the policy equivalent of the “no human is illegal” slogan — a way to combat hawkish attitudes toward the “rule of law” by challenging the idea that migration ought to be a matter of crime and punishment to begin with. But it’s also a key justification for reversing the past few decades of border crackdown, by unpinning immigration enforcement — at least when it comes to unauthorized immigrants themselves — from crime.
Or was it a worse impulse?
But because he doesn’t care, or he doesn’t understand what they are talking about?
Medicare for All questions provided some substance — and a substantive dividing line
I happen to think that a gradual transition to universal health care is much more likely than a one-fell-swoop transition to full public insurance, but that “kicking people off insurance” language about M4A from Klobuchar is really irresponsible demagoguery
The only interesting thing so far is the division over Medicare for All so we really should just debate health care for the rest of the night.
Warren goes into detail
This is quite a way to phrase a Medicare for All question: “Who here would abolish their private health insurance and replace it with a government-run plan?”
Warren has been talking up other “paths” to universal health care lately, but she raises her hand right away.
This was the most specific Warren has been on healthcare and her Medicare for All stance yet. Useful clarifying moment, which she obviously knew was coming.
This Warren Medicare-for-all answer is important; Bernieworld thought it spotted some weakness because she wasn’t being clear, on the trail, about whether she was for a full single-payer phase-in. And she just got clear.
Is NBC playing to news junkies instead of voters?
There’s value in having candidates explain why they disagree with each other. But this is the first debate. Most people haven’t followed this closely. Have them explain their own plans first then open into the differences.”
I don’t think it’s feasible to try to get people to answer such specific opening question when each candidate knows they’re only going to get to talk for seven minutes tonight.
A new era
Klobuchar goes second
Gabriel Debenedetti on the start: “This is exactly how Team Warren wanted to open the debate.”
An excerpt from Marianne Williamson’s mindful alternative to a debate drinking game
We say substitute a yoga move for a shot of booze.
Instead of downing a shot, do a downward dog.
Instead of throwing back a Harvey Wallbanger, just try legs up the wall pose.
Every time someone talks about the green new deal, strike an eagle pose. It’ll relax your shoulders and remind you that the green new deal is not only to create jobs and save energy but to save our environment and stop climate change.
When they say Medicare For All, you just meditate.
It’s only the beginning
As you prepare to watch the first primary debate Wednesday-Thursday (and the 11 to follow), let go of the notion that any single moment is going to shift the state of the race overnight. That is not to say that debates aren’t important, but real consequences tend to emerge only in the days and weeks after the debate as the news media, candidates and voters react.
What stops most candidates’ post-debate surge is a combination of reality and the heightened focus of media attention, which moves from narratives about an unexpected success or an increase at the polls to scrutiny of the candidate. The focus on a surging candidate may simply bring to light the underlying weaknesses of a candidacy.
Before the dust-up with Ms. Kelly in 2015, Mr. Trump had already been getting an outsize share of mentions in cable news coverage of the election (44 percent of mentions, in a field of 16 other candidates). But after it, his share increased to 64 percent (based on analysis of data from GDELT, which monitors world media, for a book I co-authored about the 2016 election). His standing in the polls improved along with all the increased attention. Mr. Trump had generated a post-debate media boomlet that he leveraged, repeated and rode all the way to the White House.
A version of this exchange was inevitable